Five More Solar Plants Planned For NM

New Mexico – The Public Service Company of New Mexico has signed a contract with an Arizona company to build five utility-scale solar power plants in New Mexico.

Tempe-based First Solar would build the plants at five sites in PNM's service territory.

The plants would produce 22 megawatts of new solar capacity. PNM says that's enough to supply 7,000 homes.

PNM president and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn says construction on the first site could start as soon as 2011.

The sites will be chosen based on cost, availability, their solar potential, the level of local support and other factors.

The contract would be the first project under an agreement reached between PNM and environmental and energy groups earlier this month pending approval by the state Public Regulation Commission.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.